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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Equal Protection

One Year After Marriage Equality in NC

Posted on in LGBT Rights

One year ago today, same-sex couples in North Carolina won the freedom to marry the person they love.

Many people contributed to that incredible victory. But the most important of all were the families who had the courage and conviction to serve as plaintiffs in the legal challenges the ACLU and others brought against North Carolina's discriminatory marriage ban.

Please join us in thanking the families who served as plaintiffs in our marriage lawsuits and helped expand freedom and equality for thousands of North Carolinians.

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RALEIGH. – The North Carolina General Assembly is considering a bill that would prohibit local governments from enacting measures to protect gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender North Carolinians from discrimination in housing and public accommodations. SB 279 has many other troubling provisions, including one that would jeopardize comprehensive sex education in public schools and could lead to the return of abstinence-only education. The provisions to remove power from local governments weren’t made public until Monday night and could overturn many existing nondiscrimination ordinances across the state.  

“The General Assembly has no business interfering in local decisions to protect residents from discrimination,” said Sarah Preston, acting Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of North Carolina. “Many communities in North Carolina have passed these ordinances with popular local support in order to compete for the best jobs and show that they are inclusive and welcoming places. This shameful bill would remove that local control and hurt our state’s reputation by sending a message that North Carolina sanctions intolerance and discrimination.” 

On September 21, the Wake County Board of Commissioners voted to add lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals to those protected by the county’s employment nondiscrimination policies. Other state municipalities that have adopted LGBT nondiscrimination policies include Buncombe, Durham, and Mecklenburg counties, and the cities of Asheville, Boone, Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Charlotte, High Point and Raleigh.

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Originally posted on www.lgbtcenterofraleigh.com

In the struggle for marriage equality, the American Civil Liberties is at the forefront of the battle. As Legal Director of the ACLU of North Carolina, Christopher Brook oversees the organization’s legal program and its work on a wide range of constitutional law issues, including LGBT rights, racial justice, and religious liberty.

Chris grew up in Raleigh and then attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for his undergraduate and law degrees. Along the way, he gained a passion for social justice and civil liberty that directs all his efforts in our community.

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Isabel Najera was excited to vote in her first election as a U.S. citizen in 2014. The North Carolina mother of four did everything right to cast a ballot that would count. She registered in time, went to the right polling place, and showed up to cast a ballot during early voting. But as she testified in federal court Tuesday, through no fault of her own, Isabel’s registration was lost and her vote did not count.   

Isabel is one of dozens of witnesses testifying this week and next in the trial over North Carolina’s voter suppression law, without which Isabel’s vote would have counted. The ACLU and Southern Coalition for Social Justice are challenging provisions of the law that eliminated same-day registration, out-of-precinct voting, and a full week of early voting. Hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians used these voting options in previous elections before they were repealed by the state’s Legislature in 2013, in what many observers called the worst voter suppression law in the nation.   

Isabel was born in Mexico and came to the United States 21 years ago as a legal permanent resident. She worked as a migrant farm worker before getting a job with her local Head Start, teaching 2- and 3-year-olds life and socialization skills. While working, Isabel also earned her GED and eventually an associate’s degree in early childhood education.

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